Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind, they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements that they have in their own minds.
Pain finds us in many different ways and is often a part of our every day life. It doesn’t always show up in the physical form through illnesses and diseases but can manifest on an emotional level as well.
Silence can be pain, even a silent killer. Withdrawal and isolation is a form a pain. Loneliness translates into pain. Rejection and anxiety is pain. Unworthiness and a lack of belonging is pain. Feeling helpless and lost is pain. Confronting our darkness and the things we hide within ourselves is pain. Finding our own path as individuals, as authentic beings is pain. Fighting for Love and acceptance is pain. Sadness is pain. Expectations and unrealistic Standard is pain. Depression and mental illness is pain. Being too hard on our selves and setting unrealistic goals is pain. Torturing ourselves with our internal dialogue is pain.
Pain is a constant and speaks to us in many different languages.
I have come to believe that our entire life is a string of lessons and to some degree pain is a constant companion. The test is to overcome, to learn not to object and intervene, to not resist, to be in the flow, to stop expectations and unrealistic goals, and eventually let go of false ideals and relearn everything that is meant for us and not someone else’s ideal. That in itself is pain and an experience many fear. Pain and how we interact with it comes down to a choice and whether we want to walk down victim alley.
Our life is filled with pain, but also with pleasure, hope and joy. What tips the Balance for you? Do we allow pain to define us or hope and joy to empower us? It comes down to a choice doesn’t it? And That Choice is always ours to take.
Have you ever experienced the silent treatment? How did it make you feel?
In the times it has happened to me, it has left me feeling awful. Like I was written off, not worthy, non existent. It deeply hurt my feelings and my soul, especially in times when I couldn’t understand the reasoning and why I was treated this way. It leaves you feeling like you are not given a chance, that what you have to contribute doesn’t matter anymore and worse. You are simply wiped off the face of the earth and left to figure it out all by yourself.
The silent treatment can have different faces. Perhaps someone has stopped talking to you, clearly stating their anger and disappointment in you in a non verbal way. Maybe you are being ignored all together, not even worthy of a look, as if you are thin air, nothing, non existent, dead to that person. Maybe someone has gotten the last word in on you without allowing you the chance to defend yourself. This means you are not able to express or defend yourself.
Fact is that the silent treatment inflicts pain on another. Do you know that being ignored activates the same brain regions as physical pain does? The silent treatment is a form of punishment and gaining control over another. It’s a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It is also a form of blaming another which too will cause anxiety.
It is said that all good things take awhile. That life will unfold in it’s own way regardless of whether we are ready or not. Whether we anticipate and anxiously look towards things to transpire or not. I like to look at myself as someone who has been practicing to go with the flow for quite some time now and it’s never been an issue until recently. Now that Germany is sorted for the most part, besides the financial aspect for the sale of my house, I am growing more and more excited about the future. With it I am learning that I am getting somewhat impatient. I want to move into the house I am planning to build. I want to be able to sit back and see it all done already. I can’t wait to see the end result. I have to stop and pause, because I am cheating myself out of the process, enjoying and treasuring the journey that is ahead of me.
Meeting with a contractor (not a builder) the other day it is realized that certain things can still happen now before the winter, but the built of the house will have to wait until spring of next year. I need to embrace this time to nail the plans for the house, to gather reclaimed materials and treasures I hope to incorporate. I just simply need to enjoy the journey. I never struggled with it before until now and it’s such a strange feeling. It feels like it took me so long to get to this point, all of a sudden time is the most valuable asset as I realize my own mortality, not knowing how much time there is left. I want to enjoy what I have created as long as possible, and again I have to stop myself and remind myself that the process getting to the finished project is just as exciting. It is also said that haste makes waste and you can’t rush a good thing. I believe in it, so in the meantime while we search if there is a water connection on the property, (we found a sewer pipe already), while we clear the overgrowth of bushes and level a pad for the house, a shed and the current trailer, I can work on a smaller project and design my “She Shed.” This will allow me to get my belongs out of storage and save those monthly expenses. It would also be nice to being able taking my time and unpacking, putting things in a permanent home where they belong. It just will take time and I need to be patient once more.
The journey has intensified over the last couple of days and many feelings and emotions have surfaced. Whether it is finding some hidden treasure that speaks to my heart or a childhood memory, or whether it is feeling, the light entering the room at a certain time, or perhaps I am given glimpse and a better understanding of the person my Mother was, it is definitely pulling on my heartstrings like never before. I feel deep inside my heart the love she always carries for me, a live she struggles to show and yet it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there. It was and I try hard to steer away from the risk of feeling that I have wronged her in many ways. Like she hurt me not being able to show her love, I have wronged her by not seeing it anyways. But this is not a time for blame and who did what. Time has passed and is now gone, and I am here feeling her love, feeling my love and it still hurts and nearly breaks my heart. Grief is love unexpressed, unable to give it to a living person.
I cried today. Overcome, I cried today. Not inwards, swallowing all the sound, unable to express the raw emotions, no…I cried today. Loud, letting it all flow, expressing the pain my heart still holds. It was a cleansing cry, but also one of loneliness and missed time that will never return. Still I walked besides you and felt you with me as I opened my heart for you to see all the love it always held for you.
Later in the day I went to the cemetery and picked/ordered your headstone. It will be a heart with your name, dates and a dragonfly added to Dads and for the past nearly three years, your grave. I made it so I will always be able to take the heart with me at a later time when the grave time runs out. You see I carry your heart with me wherever I go.
Tomorrow is the signing of the sale for the house and it’s another trigger that makes the tears flow. I don’t have to be out of the house until June and yet it feels like my last night here. At least as the owner of what you’ve built with so much hard work and dedication. After tomorrow I can’t go back and I know I can’t go forwards either keeping the house. I know I am doing what must be done but it still makes my heart bleed all over the place and I wish you were here to hold and hug me just once more. This is hard Mom and I miss you.
Fleeting moments, fleeting time is a struggle that seems to get worse with age. When we get older, time becomes an even greater gift and we can value and appreciate it through old and tired eyes, and yet, often with a new, crystal clear vision. The days pass, the months move by, and before we know it another year has come to an end. Living in awareness has been a great gift to me and although I can’t slow the rushing time, being more aware of my days, of my moments has allowed me to take them all in at a more profound manner. Here is a little pondering about fleeting time from an unknown source in collaboration with my own thoughts.
“Barely the day started and it’s already six in the evening. Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday. …and the month is already over. …and the the year is almost over. …and already 40, 50, or 60 years of our lives have passed. …and we realize that we lost our parents, friends. …and we realize it’s too late to go back. So…let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time. Let’s keep looking for activities that we like. Let’s put some color in our grey. Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts. And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let’s try to eliminate the afters…I am doing it after. I’ll think about it after. We leave everything for later like “after” is ours. Because what we don’t understand is that: afterwards, the coffee gets cold, afterwards, priorities change. Afterwards, the charm is broken. Afterwards, health passes. Afterwards, the kids grow up. Afterwards, parents get old. Afterwards, promises are forgotten. Afterwards, the day becomes the night. And then it’s often too late. So…let’s leave nothing for later. Because still waiting to see later, we can lose the best moments, the best experience, best friends, the best family. The day is today. The moment is now. We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away. It looks like an eternity, but it’s a short trip. Enjoy life and always be kind.”
Some days I feel like life is overwhelming and yet I know everything is moving along as smoothly as possible. There is just so much that is happening all at once, and because of it life feels heavy at times. Much needs attention as the time is ticking down and in less than 3 weeks I will be gone to Germany. Sometimes I don’t feel ready and on a day like today where I barely slept during the night because of physical pain, I can feel the fear and doubt creeping in. How will I manage the flight? How…how…how…is the theme song playing out in my head, and my faithful motto to trust, surrender and let it all unfold has vanished once more.
I feel more vulnerable and the pain reminds me of how quickly and swiftly it can influence my overall outlook. Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.
Another doctors appointment is around the corner in regards to my follow up and the x-rays. A referral to a specialist has been requested or submitted to treat my ongoing issues and perhaps halt further bone erosion in addition to the one in hands I already have. The pain meds prescribed, a fancy name for Aleve aren’t doing the trick and I still struggle way too much to go about my days.
Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.
In other news the countdown is on. Taxes are waiting to be addressed, Prescriptions need to be reordered and picked up despite not really making a big difference. The pain and sadness over the death of a loved one is still very fresh and demands attention and action. There is already a heartfelt separation anxiety that I feel when it comes to my loved ones and my beloved Cinnamon. Even to that small but very familiar space of the tiny abode in which I dwell in and have the comforts that I need. There is travel anxiety with a virus at large that most likely will never go away. Still being subjected to millions of people in airports and planes makes it almost unavoidable and impossible to not get sick. There is pressure about a rental car, about scheduling and getting a negative covid test prior to departure. There are things that are still not quite resolved as far as getting the things I want to keep back to the States, and where to, a way to figure out wifi coverage in Germany so I don’t feel soooo disconnected, and numerous other things.
As it is evident, I am overwhelming myself today. All because a continued lack of sleep and my constant pain levels. As the time is ticking away, I feel the pressure, and while there is so much to look forward to, it also remains simply overwhelming. And that while I have it easy, ha. It could be a lot different. But….
Today I feel vulnerable enough and I might even cry.
I was no stranger to the toy company called Melissa and Doug, but I never knew much about the people behind it and who created this line. It wasn’t until I bought a book called LifeLines, written by Melissa Bernstein, that I learned Melissa was one and the same woman. Creator of a toy company, author and survivor of existential anxiety and depression. In her book she documented her extraordinary and inspirational journey from profound darkness to radiant light. To this day I have not read this book that appealed to me some time ago and it’s not unusual for a book to come forward and find me. Sometimes I read them immediately and other times they patiently wait for the right timing, when I need them the most. I don’t question it anymore, I just go with the flow and know that the information will find me in time, and that the purpose will be revealed when it counts the most. I don’t know for what reason I picked up the book today. I simply felt drawn and called to it. I held it for a moment, gazing across the front cover and the chosen words to grace and capture the audience.
“Today I saved a life, although it was my very own, which won’t serve a greater purpose til I rescue lives unknown.”
I began to open the book and her intro, “Why now” felt as if she was speaking about me. I could only imagine how much we would have to talk about, how much of an understanding there would be, how we would complete each other’s sentences, feeling heard and understood. For a moment I walked down memory lane and remembered that very feeling I was lucky enough to experience at a prior point in my life.
I didn’t had to go far into the book and within the first two pages something captured me that I never heard of before. Existential anxiety and depression. In order to understand the meaning we need to break this down a bit. According to the Cambridge Dictionary existential is defined as a philosophy according to which the world has no meaning and each person is alone and completely responsible for his or her own actions. Further research revealed that existential depression is considered the mental illness of the gifted and talented.
We often tend to assume that depression is caused by a situation, by something that triggered it, an event, a dissatisfaction. It can be seasonal, situational, or intrapersonal. But existential depression can occur during periods of deep reflection about the meaning of life. When we seek answers about the very purpose and meaning of our existence. It might even revolve around topics of death, isolation, freedom and meaninglessness. We might also experience existential depression after major life events such as bereavement, accidents, natural disasters, job loss, failed marriages and so on.
Some believe that gifted people, gifted children and adults, are more likely to experience existential depression in their lives. Those creative, gifted, and talented who actively search and question life’s meaning are often thought to be more prone to existential depression. This includes the deep thinkers, the scientists, the sensitive people, the gifted individuals attuned to everything around them. And yes most likely the empaths as well. Gifted children may find it especially difficult to navigate life if they have that intellectual excitability or thirst for knowledge, to explore more intellectually than others who may be around them.
While existential depression may be a part of, or a form of, a spiritual crisis, it can also be a positive catalyst for change and growth. It is said that especially gifted and creative people do learn and grow in a positive way from what they experience through traumatic experiences and life crises. Finally I found myself on familiar territory. I too had asked an eternity the question “why” while drowning in a sea of despair, not knowing what was going on, that there was a name, a title, a term for what I was experiencing. Like Melissa, I was in my fifth decade of life, still believing I was a visitor from another planet who would never be understood, who would never fit in or be embraced here on Earth. And while I often cherished and celebrated my uniqueness, my individuality, not being like everyone else, a cookie cutter version of everybody, I realized that there were also painful elements to this celebration. There was isolation, a loneliness, a sense of not fitting in, and yes, even a sense of something being wrong with me.
Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902-1980) spent his lifetime studying the mental health of intellectually and artistically inclined children and adults, recognizing that extreme intensity of their emotions and sensitivities was actually part of their psycho-physical makeup. In fact Dabrowski, in his clinical practice, saw many creative artists and writers undergoing profound spiritual crises. This forged his primary mission to “save and protect those who were tuned to the pain of the world and its dangerous trends, but whose voice was not heeded.” He saw those who were open to higher realities were often poorly adapted to this world and thus at risk for not succeeding or even surviving.
Having this knowledge now, perhaps every single moment, every single emotion and fear makes sense and can be seen in a new light. A radiant light of understanding and transforming the darkness within. Maybe the veil has been lifted, a mystery has been revealed and perhaps we can learn to understand ourselves a little better yet. Maybe we can see why we reacted the way we did, why we protected ourselves the way we did and why we seem to struggle just a little more. The enormity of this in itself is breathtaking and terrifying, but perhaps it can also be a tremendous relief to what seemed such a life mystery for so long. And my hope is to share this with you to bring you the same kind of peace, to be heard, and understood, and know that you are not alone.
It’s been 4 years since my last doctors appointment, until today. While I often consider myself to be my own best adviser and caregiver, I realize that from time to time I need a little extra help in addition to what I can do. This seems to be such a time, as my constant never seems to fade too far away anymore and is always present. By the time this post goes active, my initial visit will be behind me and hopefully I can feel good about it. I’ve been assigned to a female doctor and hopefully she can see more in me than just a dollar sign and can understand my concerns. There are other health providers and options I want to explore such as functional medicine where I believe my solution lies, and where there is a better collaboration between patient and provider such as a team effort, but at the moment I am under time constraints and have no choice. What I have to tackle in the near future requires a more steady self, one that can power through what needs to be done in Germany. I can’t afford to sit back and see what day it’s gonna be, to listen to my body and rest of it resists. I need to get stuff done and quickly at that.
I am sure a barrage of tests will be in line as I am starting at square one with a new general doctor. A relation, knowledge and history has to be established and old health records may not be in existence anymore since my old rheumatologist moved away 4 years ago. From there I will face other specialist referrals and the whole nine yards of bloodwork and on. I already can think of a few self diagnosis’s, but I need help with the RA right now and can’t wait.
I am not a pill taker, especially not when it comes to these harsh meds, but I have to see it as a temporary solution and not as a permanent choice. After all I have been here before, haven’t I, a few times actually, and this time I am putting forth an even bigger attempt and effort to live pain free down the line. I have been nearly coffee free for almost three weeks. One cup on Sunday is my splurge and this week I tolerated it without a flare up. New nutrition is being added while old culprits are taken off. It’s still too early to say what works and whether it is turning into a long term benefit, but time will tell and I am paying attention very closely.
I am planning to go to Germany the beginning to mid march and hope to have found some relief until then. To me the pills are a last resort and I don’t even know if I can or will commit to them a 100%. I will have to see how it goes and what is in store for me. I need to halt the damage to my bones permanently and inflammation is the biggest tackle for me. For the past week my feet were killing me. First my hand / wrist and as soon as that got better, the problems shifted to the feet, neck and shoulders. It was like walking on bones without any cushioning. Also the sides of my feet were so painful, I had to google what it could be. Surprise, all things courtesy to the arthritis and inflammation. I am optimistic that with diet changes that addresses leaky gut, gout, and inflammation, (my self diagnosis), the inflammation markers will reduce as well as weight will be shed. I am hoping this translates into overall health improvements.
On the stress front and after Germany, a huge burden should be lifted and I can resume my life according to my own dreams. This should fuel and motivate me. It shall be the wind beneath my wings. Further lifestyle changes, daily meditation and actively pursuing energy healing and what I have learned so far, will be powerful tools that will bring balance. It looks like I have a plan, and I am asking the universe to support me, for my intentions are clear and not to be mistaken. ~Namaste
The other days I realized that my thoughts have been cycling back to fear. Fear is such a big part of our life and almost a constant, something that is always in our lives, one way or another. Sometimes it is more dormant, almost not noticeable at all, while it is much more prevalent during other times. The other day I was wondering if we get so used to fear that we accept it as a constant, as something that just is and belongs into our lives. Do we adapt to it as a part of us?
For myself, I know that I have worked hard to surrender my fears. To let go of them and trust that everything will always find it’s way. I for one, do not like the anxiety and the stifled self that comes with fear and worrying about things that often never come to fruition. I think we have all been there and driven ourselves crazy before, and in the end none of our horror visions ever came true. Maybe fear is a cousin of doubt. Does it arise when we don’t fully believe? Perhaps it is also a cousin of trust and believe, arising when we don’t fully trust and believe in ourselves. Mmmh….sometimes I feel like doing my own detective work, being my own psychiatrist, my own mentor and of course I am all those things as you are those things to yourself as well. Sometimes we just need to talk it out I suppose.
So why am I talking about this now, and how come I feel this way? One big hurdle that remains to be conquered in my life is Germany and selling the house. I believe I have mentioned that two parties have come forward and are interested in the house. I’am not even there and thousands of miles away, it is literally selling itself. Well not quite that simple and my dear cousin is overseeing it all, but still, it couldn’t go any easier if this is what will transpire and become a final sale. So what’s the problem, why am I so anxious about it all? Probably it’s due to a variety of things such as doubt, trust and a lack of believing in myself that is leading to worries of how to get it all done. How to go through all the personal belongings and find the energy and strength to do it. I know it is not something anybody can help with as it is a part of closure, that coming to terms, that final letting go. I know that I have to do it and physically I am challenged quite a bit.
I muddle around every day, doing small projects here and there, trying to be more active, getting back to how I was years ago. Years when I was younger, years when I didn’t have the RA. It’s not realistic and I know I kid myself every day. I do projects and at the end of the day I look back and can’t see any significant progress, like I didn’t even come close to make a dent into my chores. And so they flow over to the next day, maybe that day will bring less pain and I can muster more energy. Have I made improvements – yes. Have I made strides for a better life and improved life quality – yes. Have I managed to do more by myself without the help of another – yes. And still it’s not enough and not quick enough. So I wonder during this time of added pressure, is this just a moment that needs to pass? A moment I worry for no good reason, where I allow doubt, not trusting the process and not believing in myself to sneak in and cause these remnants of fear to resurface? I know that I need to believe that everything will find it’s way. It has so far and it’s going smoother than anyone could wish for. I need to believe in myself and that the adrenaline will give me wings to complete this final project. I need to see it through and I need to trust that everything is guided and will unfold exactly how it is meant to be.